I like to gauge the success of a recipe by something I call the “Standing up Factor.” It is as follows: if a dish is somewhat mediocre or lackluster, it gets put on a plate and will make its way to a table before being eaten, sometimes languishing for a few minutes on its own before the first bite is taken. Whatever the dish is, it can’t hold the undivided attention of the diner and eating it will fall to the wayside as other tasks are being taken care of. Things like cereal, lukewarm toasted, and a pile of carrot sticks are routinely victim to getting forgotten on the dining room table because they just don’t pull in an eater like some dishes do. Some recipes, though, barely make it to the plate before the first bite is being shoveled into the eater’s mouth, sans silverware. This Raspberry Buckle is one of those recipes. The minute you pull a warm slice from the pan, you can’t resist breaking the point of the slice off with your bare hands and putting it straight in your mouth. On top of a moist, brown butter infused cake batter is a thick layer of raspberries that cook down into a decadent, jam-like filling in the oven underneath a crown of brown butter streusel. It’s sticky, crunchy, and delectable all at the same time. It’s the type of dessert that just begs to be eaten on a summer night or for breakfast the following morning. It’s rustic and simple, and invites anyone walking by it to just “even the edges” of the slices in the pan.
This is what you make when you want to impress a dinner guest or celebrate an accomplishment—it’s straightforward and doesn’t need any cake stands, frosting, or decorating. If you want to gild the lily, you could serve it with fresh raspberries and a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, but you don’t need to—all you really need is a knife to cut a wedge that will be eaten standing up over the stove.
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen
Makes one 10 inch buckle, which will serve 8 very generously
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon table salt
Pinch of allspice
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk (whole or low-fat—not skim)
12 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch table salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of a 10 inch round cake pan or 10 inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper, then butter the bottom and sides of the pan generously and set aside.
- Place the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until it is completely melted. Once melted, turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and releases an irresistible nutty aroma into the kitchen. Turn off the heat, and pour the butter into a glass measuring cup and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and all but ¼ cup of the browned butter. This is where the measuring cup comes in handy: pour the butter into the bowl until you have ¼ cup left in the measuring cup to save for the streusel. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time until well combined. Whisk in the milk. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then place the raspberries in an even layer on top of the batter. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt until evenly combined to make the streusel. Spread the streusel on top of the raspberries in an even layer.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Remove buckle from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving. The buckle is excellent slightly warm or at room temperature when served with some fresh raspberries and a dollop of cream.